Okay, this post may get a bit long. I usually like to try to keep them short and to the point but sometimes my thoughts need to follow this long trail. So trust me on this one…LOL
I used to have this saying I used to like to put at the bottom of my personal emails… “Don’t trust me, I’m human.” Can we really trust anyone? Ultimately everyone you know will let you down in one way or another…except God.
Although I don’t know him personally there is someone that has been on this blog that commented about someone saying he couldn’t be a Christian because he “smoked and drank.” Yes he can.
I bet there are people who just read that saying to themselves “No he can’t.” All of us are guilty of something. We just don’t think our vices are as bad as “That person’s vices.” Some have the attitude of “Don’t drink, don’t chew, don’t date those that do.”
The religious people liked to accuse Jesus of being a friend of “gluttons and winebibbers.” So?
The problem with being friends with people so you can share Jesus with them is that it is not genuine. What happens if they don’t accept Jesus? You abandon them. Brush off your feet sort of what I wrote about yesterday in my “S is for Shoes” blog. I’m sorry I didn’t dwell deeper into that blog. Quick addition to that blog from yesterday – people who may not be Christians, but don’t mind hanging around you and have serious questions, hang with them, be friends with them. Example: Zacchaeus was a little guy. A tax collector that was despised by the Jewish community but he wanted to get a look at Jesus. The only thing that is recorded that Jesus said to him was in Luke 19:5 “And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house." This simple act changed Zacchaeus’ life.
I don’t believe we need to walk away from people who may not agree with us, nor should we expect to know what God is doing in someone else’s life. Consider the story of Peter on the beach with Jesus after the resurrection. Peter asked Jesus what another disciple will be doing. Jesus told him not to worry about him…Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what [is that] to you? You follow Me."John 21:22 We are to Trust and follow Jesus.
People can spot people who genuinely love them as opposed to people who are just trying to win a religious argument. Jesus invested in people’s lives. He gave of Himself. He gave Himself.
How many of us are so busy building our kingdoms that we don’t invest in the people that are around us? If someone doesn’t serve some purpose in our lives (sort of like a trophy on the wall of our egos) we don’t want to take time with them.
Jesus doesn’t want to be some “religious” part of your life. Jesus wants to be invested in your life. He wants to be with you when you work. He wants to be with you when you are playing. He wants to be with you always. Do you trust Him when He says He loves you? Do you trust Him when He tells you that He loves you no matter what you do? (While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.)
Do I think smoking is good? No. Does it disqualify someone from heaven? No.
Paul claimed to be the chief of sinners. Does that disqualify him from heaven? No.
If we truly trust and believe that Jesus is the Son of God and He gave His life for us, don’t worry about how others are following Jesus… “You follow Me,” as Jesus said. What does that mean? Well, if you have faith and believe that Jesus is God incarnate (God in the Flesh) and you also believe that God is Love then you would put faith when, “Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is [the] first and great commandment. And [the] second [is] like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Matt 22:37-40 NKJV)
Everything to God is tied up in Love. Are we perfect? No. Can we be trusted? Not all the time. But God is good, all the time. For God is Love.
Now back to what I’ve said in the past, you can know the law, without knowing God. But you don’t know Jesus if you don’t love. “He who says he loves God and hates his brother is a liar.”
I will close these ramblings with a line from a song from years ago, by Steve Camp. “Don’t tell them Jesus loves them ‘til you’re ready to love them too.”
Another line from another song by Casting Crowns… “Jesus paid much too high a price for us to pick and chose who will come.”
Hope you made it through my little road trip.
Be blessed. Be a blessing.